A cross section of Zambian citizens through the Civil Society Coalition on Constitution have unconditionally demanded for a new constitution to be adopted through a referendum as opposed to the detects of the PF government led by ailing dictator Michael Sata.
Over 3,000 people gathered at the Anglican Cathedral of the holy cross amid tight police security, the group comprised of civil society organizations, students bodies, opposition party leaders speaking at different intervals demanded that the PF and Sata release the draft copy of the constitution and allow for the referendum to take place.
Prominent among the attendees were MMD Vice president Mike Kaingu, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, Narep’s Elias Chipimo, ZDDM leader Edwin Sakala, ABZ leader Father Frank Bwalya, Heritage Party leader Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda, FDD, ADD’s Charles Milupi, students bodies, Civil society organizations, Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), ZCTU, NGOCC, MISA Zambia, Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC), Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), Independent Churches of Zambia (ICoZ), Islamic Council of Zambia and many others.
And speaking at different intervals, all the leaders urged Zambians to demand for the constitution and soon after the occasion, heavily armed policemen who sought reinforcement started confiscating placards from the people who gave them with no resistance. Some placards read “constitution is not for Sata, Wynter we want the constitution now”. They all accused the PF of abducting the constitution.
Dr. Kaingu said Zambians have regretted voting the PF while Father Bwalya relaunched the red card campaign. Chipimo said the PF had taken Zambians for granted. Hichilema challenged Sata to give Zambians a people driven constitution if indeed he was a man of action. General Miyanda said the constitution was a God given heritage for Zambians while Sakala called on the government to do the wishes of the people to avoid problems.
Main speaker Father leonard Chiti quoted page 42 of the PF manifesto which promises a technical committee to draft a constitution to be enacted through a referendum. He reminded Sata who promised to rule by the ten commandments that one of the commandments forbids telling lies and now Sata and the entire PF had told lies.
Meanwhile there was jubiliation soon after the meeting as all opposition leaders walked side by side and promised to work together but the police sensing this unity demanded to get all the placards that were used. Some students resisted and the police called for reinforcement to try and cause chaos at the place but the peaceful advocates avoided the trap and handed over the placards. By 18:00 hrs there were still people trooping out of the Cathedral after the end of the service an hour earlier.
And the coalition is preparing to expand to provinces and other districts to mount pressure on the government over the constitution roadmap and referendum. They have demanded that the draft copy also be released online in addition to the printed copies.